What is the diabetes? Causes, symptoms, prevention and treatment

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when blood glucose is too high. It is a disease that affects millions of people in the world and although unfortunately there is no cure, you can treat and live with it. We talk below about What is diabetes? Causes, symptoms, prevention and treatment.

What is diabetes?

diabetes is a disease that occurs when blood glucose, also called blood glucose, has levels that are too high. Blood glucose is our main source of energy and comes from the food we eat. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, helps the glucose in food enter the cells that are used to produce energy.

However, it can sometimes happen that insulin is not produced or that little is produced or that it is not metabolized well. In this case, glucose stays in the blood and does not reach the cells.

Over time, having too much glucose in the blood can cause health problems. Unfortunately, at this time diabetes has no cure, but it is possible to take measures to manage it to stay healthy.

Types of diabetes

Within the disease, there are different types of diabetes being the most common of type 1, type 2 and gestational. Other less common types include monogenic diabetes, which is a hereditary form and associated with cystic fibrosis.

Type 1 Diabetes

Diabetes type 1 occurs when the immune system , the body's system to fight infections, attacks and destroys beta cells pancreatic that are responsible for producing insulin.

Scientists believe that type 1 is caused by genes and environmental factors, such as viruses, which could cause the disease.

>

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not make or use insulin well. Type 2 can develop at any age, even during childhood . However, this type of disease occurs most often in middle-aged and elderly people.

This is the most common form of diabetes, and is caused by several factors, including genetic and life factors.

Type 2 diabetes is more likely to develop if you are 45 or older, have a family history of the disease, or have overweight.

Physical inactivity, race and some health problems , such as high blood pressure, can also affect Type 2 development.

Type 2 is also more likely to develop if you suffer from prediabetes or you have pregnancy problems during pregnancy.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes develops in some women when they are pregnant . Most of the time, this type disappears after the baby is born.Most pregnant women can produce enough insulin to overcome insulin resistance, but some fail.

Gestational diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. to type 2, the additional weight is linked to gestational diabetes. Women who are overweight or obese may already have insulin resistance when they become pregnant. Excessive weight gain during pregnancy can also be a trigger.

Having a family history who have had this disease increases the chances of a woman developing gestational diabetes, which suggests that genes play a role in the onset of the disease.

Causes of diabetes

The factors that can cause the onset of the disease are many : genes, environmental factors, overweight and lifestyle, resistance to insulin as well as family history. We see them below, in detail.

Genetic mutations

Monogenic diabetes is caused by mutations or changes in a single gene . These changes have generally passed to the family, but sometimes the genetic mutation can occur alone. Most of these genetic mutations cause the disease, which makes the pancreas less able to produce insulin.

The most common types of monogenic diabetes are the neonatal and the type MODY , which gets its name by the abbreviation of the phrase, in English, Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (diabetes of beginning in the maturity of young people), which occurs in the first years of life or more frequently during adolescence.

Neonatal occurs in the first 6 months of life , while doctors usually diagnose MODY during > adolescence or in adulthood, but sometimes the disease is not diagnosed until old age.

On the other hand, some hormonal diseases make the body produce too many hormones, which sometimes cause insulin resistance and diabetes, among them we have Cu syndrome shing that occurs when the body produces too much cortisol, often called the "stress hormone," the acromegaly that occurs when the body produces too much growth hormone, or the hyperthyroidism that occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone.

As noted, suffering a pancreatitis can also damage beta cells or make them less capable of producing insulin, which results in diabetes.However, statins help protect against heart disease and stroke. For this reason, the strong benefits of taking statins outweigh the small chance of developing diabetes.

If you take any of these medications and are concerned about their side effects, talk to your doctor.

Overweight, obesity and physical inactivity.

You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are not physically active and overweight or obese. Extra weight sometimes causes insulin resistance and is common in people with type 2 diabetes. The location of body fat also makes a difference. Additional abdominal fat is related to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and heart and blood vessel disease.

Insulin resistance

Type 2 diabetes usually begins with insulin resistance, a condition in which muscle, liver and fat cells do not use insulin well. As a result, your body needs more insulin to help glucose enter the cells. At first, the pancreas produces more insulin to meet the additional demand. Over time, the pancreas can not make enough insulin and blood glucose levels increase.

Symptoms of diabetes

The symptoms of diabetes, especially those that correspond to type 2, are usually quite clear. Among them we have:

  1. Increased thirst and urination
  2. Increased hunger
  3. Fatigue
  4. Blurred vision
  5. Numbness or tingling in the feet or hands
  6. Sores that do not heal.
  7. Loss of unexplained weight

The symptoms of type 1 diabetes can start quickly in a couple of weeks , while type 2 symptoms often develop slowly , for several years, and they can be so mild that they may not even be noticed.

Many people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms. Some people do not know they have the disease until they have health problems related to diabetes, such as blurred vision or heart problems.

Prevention against diabetes

Making some lifestyle changes can dramatically reduce the chances of developing diabetes and specifically, type 2. The same changes can also decrease the chances of developing diabetes diseases. heart and some types of cancer.

Control your weight

Excess weight is the most important cause of type 2 diabetes . Being overweight increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes seven times . Being obese makes you 20 to 40 times more likely to develop diabetes than someone with a healthy weight.

Losing weight can help if your weight is above the healthy weight range. Losing between 7 and 10 percent of your current weight can reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes by half.

Move and turn off the television

Inactivity promotes diabetes. Working your muscles more often and making them work harder improves your ability to use insulin and absorb glucose. This causes less stress on your insulin-producing cells.

Performing long periods of hot and sweaty exercise is not necessary to get this benefit. This point will be discussed later.

Stop smoking and drink

Smoking are approximately 50 percent more likely to develop diabetes than nonsmokers, and heavy smokers are at even greater risk.

On the other hand moderate alcohol consumption reduces the risk of diabetes or heart disease. Moderate amounts of alcohol (up to one drink a day for women, up to two drinks a day for men) increase the effectiveness of insulin to obtain glucose within the cells. If you already drink alcohol, the key is to keep your consumption in a moderate range, as higher amounts of alcohol may increase the risk of diabetes. If you do not drink alcohol, there is no need to start; You can get the same benefits by losing weight, exercising more and changing your eating patterns.

Treatments for diabetes

The basic concepts for the treatment of diabetes are to lead a correct lifestyle and proper nutrition, > adapted to the type of diabetes, age, degree of overweight and individual daily needs.

Type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin in multiple administrations during the day, while for the type 2 diabetes there are numerous medications, chosen according to the characteristics and needs of the individual patient. In some cases, insulin may also be a therapeutic option for type 2 diabetes. In people with diabetes, vascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, should always be adequately controlled with specific attention./p>

There are also special therapies of high technological value, indicated for selected patients. The insulin pump is a small pump the size of a deck of cards that allows the administration of insulin continuously and in varying amounts at different times of the day, at meals or at times of fasting between foods. Insulin therapy with a pump is indicated in patients with type 1 diabetes in whom insulin therapy with multiple injections does not achieve and maintain sufficient glycemic control. Sometimes, the tools for continuous glucose monitoring are used for both occasional diagnostic assessments and for modifying insulin therapy with the pump based on glucose readings. The currently available systems allow the use of sensors temporarily inserted under the skin and connected to portable recording instruments.

Diet for diabetes

Regarding the diet to treat diabetes and also how not to avoid , you can apply the following tips:

Choose whole grains and whole products instead of carbohydrates

There is convincing evidence that diets rich in whole grains protect against diabetes, while diets rich in refined carbohydrates increase the risk.

Whole grains do not contain a magic nutrient that combats diabetes and improves health. Bran and fiber in whole grains make it harder to the digestive enzymes break down the starches into glyco sa . This leads to lower and slower increases in blood sugar and insulin, and a lower glycemic index. Whole grains are also rich in essential vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that can help reduce the risk of diabetes.

In contrast, white bread, white rice , mashed potatoes, donuts, bagels and many breakfast cereals have what is called high glycemic index and glycemic load. That means they cause sustained spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels, which in turn can increase the risk of diabetes .

Skip sugary drinks and choose water, coffee or tea.

Like refined grains, sugary drinks have a high glycemic load , and drink them It is associated with an increased risk of diabetes.

For every can or bottle of a sugary drink you drink, your risk of type 2 diabetes increases by 25 percent. Studies also They suggest that fruit drinks are not the healthy choice that food ads often represent as they are also loaded with sugar.

What to drink instead of sugary things?

strong> Water is an excellent option. Coffee and tea are also good calorie-free substitutes for sugary drinks (as long as you do not load them with sugar). And there is convincing evidence that coffee can help protect against diabetes; Emerging research suggests that tea may also have benefits for the prevention of diabetes, but more research is needed.

Choose good fats instead of bad fats.

The types of fats in your diet can also affect the development of diabetes. Good fats, such as the polyunsaturated fats found in liquid vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, can help prevent type 2 diabetes. (Trans fats do exactly the opposite.) These bad fats are found in many margarines, packaged baked goods, fried foods in most fast food restaurants and in any product that includes "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil" on the label Eat polyunsaturated fish fats, also known as "long chain omega fats" 3 "or" omega 3 marine fats ", does not protect against diabetes, although there is much evidence that these omega 3 marine fats help prevent heart disease. If you already have diabetes , eat Fish can help you protect yourself from a heart attack or die from heart disease.

Limit the s red meats and avoid processed meats

Eating red meat (beef, pork, lamb) and processed red meat (bacon, sausage, cold cuts) increases the risk of diabetes , even among people who consume only small amounts. Several studies have found that eating just one serving of 100 grams of red meat increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 20 percent. Eating even smaller amounts of processed red meat each day increases the risk of diabetes by 51 percent.

Therefore, change red meat or processed red meat to a healthier protein source, such as nuts, low-fat dairy products, chicken or fish, or whole grains reduces the risk of diabetes by up to 35 percent.

It may be that the high content Iron in red meat decreases the effectiveness of insulin or damages the cells that produce insulin; high levels of sodium and nitrites (preservatives) in processed red meat may also be to blame.